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Benthic Life


What Happens to Marine Life When There Isn’t Enough Oxygen?

SciTech Daily

In September of 2017, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson was conducting an experiment with a colleague in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface, with brittle stars and sea urchins, which are usually in hiding, perching on the tops of coral. This unique observation prompted a collaborative study explained in a new paper published on July 26, 2021, in Nature Communications analyzing what this foggy water layer is caused by, and the impact it has on life at the bottom of the seafloor.

What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

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Life at Rock Bottom

This digital photo essay brings you the forms, figures, and facts of life more than a mile and half deep

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From Mars to the deep

Navigation technology that helped NASA’s Perseverance rover land safely on Mars could guide robots in another unexplored terrain that’s much closer to home: the deepest trenches of the ocean.

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Falling in love with foraminifera

WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature that can change its shell into a variety of geometric shapes.

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Eavesdropping on Shrimp’s Snap Chat

Eavesdropping on Shrimp's Snap Chat

At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, marine ecologist Ashlee Lillis is studying a tiny animal that makes one of the ocean’s loudest natural sounds. It’s called a snapping shrimp. The noise it makes dominates the underwater soundscape in many coastal regions and may have an outsized effect on other marine life.

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Crabs Swarm on the Seafloor

Crabs Swarm on the Seafloor

Expeditions to the tropics and Antarctica have turned up crab populations—for better or worse—in unexpected parts of the globe. At…

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Swarming Red Crabs Documented on Video

Swarming Red Crabs Documented on Video

A research team studying biodiversity at the Hannibal Bank Seamount off the coast of Panama has captured unique video of thousands of red crabs swarming in low-oxygen waters just above the seafloor.

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HABCAM

HABCAM

A towed underwater vehicle equipped with cameras, sonar, and sensors paints vivid portraits of life on the seafloor.

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